ADOPTING VS. BUYING A PET
Why should I adopt?
Roughly 6-8 million animals enter animal shelters every year in the United States. Of these, only half will find new, forever homes. By adopting, you are helping animal care centers reduce the number of pets that are euthanized – about 3-4 million every year – and saving a life at the same time.
What types of pets are available for adoption?
Many wonderful pets are available for adoption at your local animal care center. Municipal shelters and humane societies will have a wide selection of dogs from beagles to terriers to shepherds. You’ll also find calico or tabby cats or even a blue-eyed siamese. Many centers also have rabbits, hamsters, amphibians, horses, chickens and the occasional Lovebird.
What do I need to know about pet stores?
Potential pet owners have many options when deciding where to obtain their next pet. That includes purchasing a pet from a pet store. While some pet stores feature pets from a local animal care center, many purchase their pets from puppy mills. A puppy mill is a commercial breeding kennel that houses several adult dogs for the purposes of producing litters of puppies for sale. Puppy mills have made national news over the last several years because of the less-than-adequate standard of care puppies and adults may receive while in a mill.
Where do I go to adopt an animal?
Municipal Animal Shelters If you live in a large city, it’s likely that your local municipal animal shelter is nearby. A municipal animal shelter is operated by a city or county and funded through taxpayer dollars. Often a municipal shelter falls under the auspices of a specific government department such a police department or parks and recreation. Municipal animal shelters are staffed by animal control officers, kennel attendants, medical staff and may be supported by volunteers. It is the responsibility of staff to respond to calls of stray or abandoned animals and municipal shelters must accept any animal that enters the shelter. Humane Society or SPCA You may also find one or several humane societies or SPCAs in your community. These nonprofit organizations are typically funded through donations, grants or taxpayer dollars (if the organization performs animal control services). To be clear, your local SPCA or humane society is not affiliated with a larger parent organization. In fact, any nonprofit organization within animal welfare can add ‘humane society’ to their name. Nonprofit humane societies or SPCAs are staffed by kennel attendants, medical staff, adoption counselors and they may have dog trainers and behaviorists. Almost all have a significant volunteer base to support the services of the organization. Rescue Groups Rescue Groups also play a significant role within animal welfare. If you live in a major metropolitan city such as Los Angeles, you will find a rescue organization for just about every breed of dog, cat, rabbit or bird! A rescue group transfers pets from city or county municipal shelters and houses those pets at their own facility or through their foster parent network. The best way to view an adoptable pet through a rescue group is to visit their website for adoption hours and location.
How much does it cost to adopt a pet?
The fee to adopt a pet will vary depending on age, type of pet, and how long the pet has been at the animal care center. The adoption fee will typically include the cost to spay or neuter your pet plus the fee to microchip. Your pet was likely well-cared for while at the local shelter or humane society and the adoption fee will also include vaccinations, feline viral testing, and flea medication. Be prepared to adopt by bringing your photo identification to the care center. The fee for adopting a pet through a rescue group may be slightly higher to cover the cost of transferring the animal from a shelter plus any medical costs associated with the pets care. Most rescue organizations will require an application be completed before entering their facility. In addition, a rescue group may complete a home-check visit where you reside, plus proof from your landlord, if you rent, that pets are permissible.